Visitors Can't Get Enough of Hitler Tours in Munich

Tours chronicling the rise of notorious dictator Adolf Hitler have been met with a flurry of interest by foreign tourists in the southern German city of Munich, where Hitler nurtured the Nazi Party and mounted the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch.

The guided walking tours showcase historical city sites where significant events in Hitler's life took place, many of which most Munich natives today are no longer aware of, including the world-famous Hofbraeuhaus beer hall, where Hitler gave his first public speech in 1918.

Born in Braunau, Austria, Hitler made Munich his home in 1913, before World War I.

Eric Loerke, 57, a U.S. national and longtime Munich resident, conducts the walks in English for tour guide firm Munichwalktours, with a maximum of 25 visitors on each Third Reich Tour.

He starts the tour at the heart of the city, the Marienplatz, by showing photos of Hitler as a baby and as a struggling artist in 1913, when he worked as a postcard artist. Lourke describes Hitler's enthusiasm for the operas of Richard Wagner.

The walking tour then moves to Koenigsplatz, site of the old Nazi Party headquarters and a rally site, taking in the Hofbraeuhaus, where Hitler refined his rhetoric and founded the Nazi party in 1920.

"I've read so much about this, and I just could not comprehend how the Germans could follow a guy like that. After seeing the place, I can understand it better," Wilma, 60, from Puerto Rico, told German news agency DPA.

"We wanted to find out some more about Hitler," said one vacationing couple from Dublin, Ireland.

Others on the walk were a family with two teenage daughters from Alabama, several U.S. teenagers and three older women from Puerto Rico.

"Where is Germany today?" Loerke says. "The answer now is simple: it's part of the European Union. But defining the answer back then cost millions of people's lives."

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